tv Newsmakers Tom Perez DNC Chair CSPAN October 12, 2019 12:08am-12:43am EDT
announcer: campaign 2020. watch our live coverage of the presidential candidates on the campaign trail make up your own mind. c-span's campaign 2020. your unfiltered view of politics. announcer: joining us on newsmakers is the chair of the democratic national committee, tom perez and joining us with the questioning from washington post and politico. >> i want to begin with the dnc rose for the debate peered we sat down with john delaney one of the candidates and he is one of a number of candidates who said we understand why dnc put in place these debate roles but still feel it is unfair that the dnc and not voters are deciding who is in or out of this race. >> we have given unprecedented access to candidates. it is hard. our first set of rules were put into place for a half months before the first debate.
1% is what you needed to make in the polls. or having a certain amount of individual donors who gave you a dollar. the purpose of that was, we wanted to make sure that there were multiple pathways to the debate stage because some people are well-known nationally and some aren't. and they deserve, but they are very talented so they deserve an opportunity. i think we have been incredibly inclusive. 20 people made the debate stage with us two debates. and the closer you get to the primaries, and caucuses, historically, we have shown that you have to make progress. so actually the voters are having input, because they are, i've spoken to so many voters who said boy, i saw so-and-so on the debate stage and i had given her money. it made me proud to's feel part of it. so we have given the grassroots a role. again, a one percent polling threshold for the first two debates.
a 2% polling threshold for the next debates, i would cement that is not a high bar. again, -- i would submit that is not a high bar. and so many have made it. i think the process has been remarkably transparent. comes a point where you have to demonstrate you're making progress. polling is one way that we can get a handle on who is making progress. with abut in some cases governor, senator or former congress person not making the stage. is there anything you would change are different really? -- or do differently? been quitek we have transparent and markedly inclusive peered i had a set of meetings recently and back to back i had the falling people for whom i have great respect, the first meeting was, you have to reduce the field. and by the way, i do not get is our place to reduce the field. you're not going fast enough.
my second meeting was you're going too fast. so, one thing i've learned in this job is that you have got to do your best. you have to listen. you have to be inclusive. and the fact that we have criticism from both sides, you're going too fast, you're going too slow. tells me that i think we have probably found a fairly good sweet spot. on the topic of debates, nearly all the candidates have come out in favor of having a debate are, focus and climate change, top priority for millennial and youth voters peered why not have a debate on climate change? tom: climate change is a huge existential threat and we have done more on climate change than ever before. we spoke early onto the networks when we were talking to them like in 2017 and 2018. i said we want to have debates about the issue, we do not want
to talk about hand size like the republicans did in 2060 peered we want to talk about health care. climate change is one of those issues i would site with reg alerted. because he got next to no discussion in the 26 teen campaign debates paired what we have already seen in 2020 is, we have had robust discussion about climate change in the debates. did come i itnn was a six or seven hour climate forum, msnbc is doing the same. and the challenge we have at the dnc is climate change is incredibly important and so his gun violence reduction. so is immigration. so is health care. and we received inquiries from about 40 to 50 organizations reflecting 10 to 15 different issues, wanting a debate focused exclusively on their issue. debates and have 15 each on one issue, i don't think that is the most effective way
to carry out our debate cycle. so i take a backseat to no one in my commitment to climate change and that's why we were affirmatively working with the networks to facilitate those forms. that is why we have had more discussions of climate in our debates than ever before. and we will continue to do that because it is a hugely important issue. just as the other issues are. the president is going to have to be the multitasker in chief. i think part of what we see in the debates is we want to analyze and assess how are they doing -- dealing with the wide array of issues. when i talk to the mothers of the movement and they want to debate on gun violence and they say have any more people have to die? before congress does something. it is a compelling point. is asking --body what everybody asking for debate on their issue has in common is that they have a very compelling issue. we have tried to deal with it by making sure we cover these issues in the debit dates --
recover these issues in the debates. and we have additional forums and we continue to make sure that issues like climate they get the attention absolutely deserve. former vice president but biden has come under withering attack from the white house in recent weeks. it has gone on for days and days and days now, over some suppose a connection he and his family has to ukraine. the trump campaign has been hitting biden with millions of dollars in attack ads now. this is also been going on for days. yet the committee has not, your committee has not done much to provide joe biden with air cover. has done not done much to defend him. why have you made that decision not to do that? tom: first let me correct your president. every allegation about the vice president in connection to ukraine has been unequivocally the box. this is about a president that his attempt to distract
attention from his own impeachable this conduct. by deflecting attention onto the biden campaign. and onto the vice president. what has taken place is wrong. and what the dnc has done is, we have called and equipped -- unequivocally and forcefully for facebook and other networks not to air ads that have false information. and these are provably incorrect assertions. incorrect his way too tame. these are lies. we have forcefully called for facebook and all the other networks not to our them. and plot cnn for not airing lies. dnc, some people have said you should be airing at sprint again, the dnc -- should be airing ads. again, the dnc in 2012 as an appendage of the obama reelection campaign. the rnc in 2020 is an appendage of the truck reelection
campaign. -- the trump reelection campaign. the dnc in 2020 is running a campaign process to make sure everything a person has an demonstrate that they are most qualified to be president. and i do not believe it would be our role to be airing ads every time there is misinformation. that is up to the campaign. what we are doing, forcefully, and will continue to do forcefully, is to call out misinformation, to make sure that networks are not aiding and abetting in the dissemination of misinformation. i think that is a critically important role. for instance, when in the aftermath of the el paso shooting, there was a whole slew of misinformation regarding an allegation that was being perpetrated on social media that one of the assailants, one of
the shooters, drove away in a pickup truck with a beddoe bumper sticker. and we informed the beddoe arauca campaign that -- we informed the beto o'rourke campaign that this was being disseminated. they took props come appropriate accident -- action. and they were able to stem that peered we will stick up for every campaign when they are being subjected to these disinformation campaigns. unfortunately, i could give you many other examples of actions we have taken and we will continue to defend all-american pen -- all of our candidates. i do not seek is the place of the dnc to be taking out ads in doing that. i think it is the place of the media to be taking down and refusing to air ads that include information that is palpably false. a quick follow-up. facebook said they are knocking to take on this ads. are you worried that even though you and the biting campaign claim that his oblate late false accusations that that narrative will damage joe biden if he is the nominee next year? >> what i think people are
smarter than this. if you look at the polling today, people understand in the democratic primary process and elsewhere that this is a president who lies with impunity. or tries to lie with impunity. has been involved in situations with ukraine that -- a situation with ukraine that is unconscionable. this is an abuse of power case where a president, and this is not right versus left. this is right versus wrong. it is wrong for a president of the united states of any party to shake down a foreign leader so that he can get a political favor. and the american people are not stupid. you understand what is going on. think, and the vice president, and by the way republicans in the senate, where working together during this. in ukraine to take appropriate action to stem the violence that was perpetrated by the russians. and to bill the ukraine that
would be a viable ukraine. so i'm quite confident that the american people can see through this. you look at the recent polling on impeachment. the american people are starting to see the light. this is a president whose norstar is himself. -- use north star is himself. everything he does is about himself. he's putting his own self interest i had of our national security interests, ahead of our best interests. that is wrong and i think people are saying it. do you think about a campaign has been too slow to combat the disinformation going around about the ukraine? i think the biting campaign has been very forceful. the vice president has spoken clearly peered he spoke the other day clearly about the need to impeach this president. and i'm confident he said that with soberness because he understands the seriousness of an allegation or a call for
impeachment. this effort by the trump folks, their whole modus operandi is to distort and distract. the distraction of the 2018 cycle was caravan. they did not want to talk about health care. the democrats are fighting to make sure if you have a pre-exist in condition you can keep your health care. we are taking on the pharmaceutical industry so we can bring down the cost of prescription drugs. donald trump did not want to talk about it. so he talked about caravans. the distraction now of 2020, he is -- he has been caught in a blatant abuse of power situation. and now he wants to the flecked attention by trying to -- he wants to deflect attention by trying to blame others. and the american people, as he see through the polling, the american people see through this. this is a blatant abuse of power by this president.
host: chairman, you look at the money raised so far and your committee is getting vastly outraised by the republican committee. natalie that the trump and republicans are putting field staffers down in numerous states, organizing across the country peered why is it that your committee, your party is getting so outraised in this race. and isn't a problem for you and is it a challenge for you that the other side appears to have some thing of a head start here. there are republicans raising more than the typical dog bites man story. in the 2016 the rnc outraised the dnc to the one and we took over the house. last year they aren't cra's to the dnc and we helped take over the house and had historic gains instead houses are the last time we won this many seeds and flip this many governors races was 1982 per we now have the majority of state attorneys general. one over 400 seats in state legislatures, flipped eight
chambers. where about to flip that state house and state senate in virginia. in a month or so. and what we have been doing, i have never made the goal to match the other side. a for dollar. and by the way, they have got more rich people than we do. it is pretty simple how they raise more money. the tax bill from 2017. that was a pay to play bell. if you look at the amount of money they took in after the tax bill passed, that was a simple pay to play bill, but what we have been able to do, and i think it is important to look at the broad democratic ecosystem, the amount of money that we have been able to raise and others have been able to raise, that was what enabled us in 2018 to organize at scale. what we are doing at the dmc is we have been able to rebuild our data and technology ever structure. we were organizing wisconsin back in 2017. and scott walker loss to the governors race in wisconsin not civil because we organize in milwaukee and madison, but
because we were organizing across the state. he lost his edge across the state. he was losing in rural areas because we were able to close the gap there. our investments and organizing, our investments in border protection and in data and technology, 6000 people used our voter file last year. we are building an infrastructure and my job is to hand over an infra-structure to our nominee that is first rate. that is exact what we are doing. while you're right that the rnc out raises the dnc, they are morally bankrupt. and they are spending it to help roy moore. there is benny et al donald trump and his legal defense fund. there spending it to help joe arpaio out in arizona. be my guest. what we are doing is raising enough money and working with our partners, so we can build that infrastructure that enabled us to win at scale in 2018. we got three governors races in 2019. where i feel very bullish about
in kentucky, mississippi and louisiana. taking thatare momentum into 2020. i would much rather be us than them. note, lisbeththat warren and bernie sanders, even the number of candidates who flipped red districts, pledged not to take corporate pack money. is that some thing the dnc will do going into the general? tom: we are making sure every thing we do is consistent with our values. one thing that is clear with our candidates and everything that we do at the dnc, we are not afraid to take on corporate interests. we are taking on the pharmaceutical industry, because people are paying way too much for prescription drugs. there willing to take on oil industry, because we need a clean energy economy and the other side does not believe the science. these willing to take on large corporations that got
these unconscionable bull s of tax cuts -- massive tax cuts. the democratic national committee and democratic party and candidates for that president are on the side of working people, fighting to make sure that everybody gets access to opportunity. when you deny the climate science, that come unto me, how ?an you credibly do that the challenge the other side is, they are just in the pocket of all of these industries. that is unconscionable. and the american people are seeing through it. jaqueline: so the dnc will continue to accept corporate pack money echo -- ? tom: we have a resolution in place where we do not take money from people or entities that are inconsistent with our values. we will continue to abide by that. that is what we have done today and will continue to do. look at our platform. look at what we are fighting for.
you will see that our platform is very much the platform that is fighting to make sure that we lower the cost of prescription drugs, that we take on industries that have, frankie, been profiteering on the backs of ordinary americans. jaqueline: when corporations dig into their treasury to donate money to you, what do you think they are expecting in return? tom: i think corporations want a democracy that works. any of the corporations i talk to, who are very, very concerned on, i thinks going what is happening with donald trump right now is not a right versus left issue. it is a right versus wrong issue. frankie, the republican party gets infinitely more money from corporations than the democratic party. that is a fact. because we make no bones about what we are fighting for. we want to fight for a clean energy economy. we want to fight for prescription doug -- drug costs
that are affordable. we want to fight for tax fairness. what happened in that tax bill was that large corporations and wealthy people got an unconscionable windfall. we are not shy about that. as a result, if you look at our fundraising, we are the party of the grassroots. alex, why doion, they raise more money echo they take noodles of corporate money from industries that we do not really want to be associated with. not that hard to figure out why they take -- why they take get more money. the get more money. we have a grassroots on our side. and why were able to raise-so many candidates are demonstrating that if you have the power of the people on your side, and we have tried to facilitate small dollar fundraising through our
threshold for the debate process patient. we have been able to do just that. so many people who have never given before are starting to give $25 to $50 and i think that that, furthering catalyzing it. because a number of candidates have done great work in that. we are trained to the primary process to ramp up grassroots participation. we have about five minutes. alex: one more question, the president is hauling a rally this week in minnesota, august leah lee state the present wants to turn red. thebviously a blue state president wants to turn red. the democratic party of minnesota has been sounding the alarm saying the trump campaign is on the ground organizing and has been very aggressive. i am wondering why do not see that is a concern, and what if you told democrats in these individual states were saying look, we are trying to sound the alarm. and saying look, we have a growing problem of the year to go before the election. in: we are actively engaged
minnesota. ken martin is the party chair appeared he is excellent. we have worked closely. donald trump lost by 2.5 points in minnesota. i know minnesota quite well. we invested in the 2018 cycle to make sure we are building the infrastructure for success. that is interesting you should mention that donald trump is going to minnesota. he is also heading to texas. the reason he is heading to texas is yet underwater in texas. if you look at the polling there, the most recent poll i saw had the generic democrat five or six points ahead of donald trump. i've been in texas twice in the last month. there's is a coalition of democrats and independents who -and lincoln republicans. the party of lincoln's dead and buried. there seeing what is happening to our democracy. and they are coming together. and saying this is not who we are as a nation. i think the reality of the 2020 cycle is you look at places like arizona, where we lost by three
and a half points in 2016. kyrsten sinema one and 2018, mark kelly is going to win in 2020. democrats fueled in no small measure by latino voters, who are and who will remember that joe arpaio was prosecuted by the democrats and i was the one who led it and joe arpaio was pardoned by this president. so i think you're going to win arizona. i know we are going to win and a soda appeared i know we have to work hard there. that is why -- going to wind minnesota. i know we have to work hard there. though many states -- the map keeps expanding so many states in the midwest. we are having a debate in georgia as we consider georgia to be an plight not only for the presidency but the zoo senate seat. , not only for the presidency but the two senate seats. in north carolina we can take down telus because his popularity is in the tank because he has a sock in his
mouth about this president. and voters north carolina are going to see through that. -- map's consent expanding our map is expanding and there map is contracting. we have a lot of work to do. jaqueline: there has been a lot 2016, that hillary clinton was potentially going to run again in 2020. her people have shut down that rumor just last week or maybe earlier this week, she tweeted, back at donald trump, do your job, don't tempt me about jumping back into the race. what is your response to a potential hiller clinton candidacy, and how long you think she can wait to jump into this historically large pool? do not think senator clinton will be running. i note she has been wonderfully helpful to us since 2017. her thought leadership for me personally and how to carry out
my role here at the dnc, and her help for the party, has been indispensable. i am very, very grateful for that. i would be surprised, very surprised if she ramp it i do not think that's going to happen. but what i do think is going to happen is that democrats are, we have a big field. we are-we understand. i actually think a deep bench is a good thing. i have coached sports for the last 15 years with my three kids. i've never spoken to a baseball coach he said, tom, i have a problem, i have too much depth on my team. death is a good thing. -- depth is a good thing. what secretary clinton and the candidates for president and party,uminaries in the what we understand is, our unity is our rightist strength. and we are coming together. i'm confident that when we -- is our our unity is our greatest strength. and we are going to unite around our values and take back our
democracy. >> one of the lessons of 26 teen when your server was hacked forcing your former party chair to leave right before the convention, any concern that could happen in 2020. what say parts are in place from your standpoint? tom: cybersecurity is a huge issue. it was job one for me when i got there. we have built a remarkably talented team, both in the data technology front and in the cybersecurity front. but make no mistake about it, the russians are at it. other foreign actors are at it. and they're at it and continuing to do this because they could do it with impunity. you have a president right now who is setting his attorney general around the world to try to debunk what the senate intelligence committee on a bipartisan basis just said, which is at the russians tried to influence our elections. except todisputed
donald trump and rudy giuliani and a few of rudy giuliani's friends who just got indicted. and that is remarkable to me. and, steve, the thing that is so troubling is that we should be getting help from the federal government. to protect the integrity of elections. and we is not just the dnc. is state -- the we and local governments. we should be getting help. and you saw the reporting about the former dhs secretary when she would try to bring up election security, she was given the heisman as we say. do not bring it up, the president said. i cannot trust this government to help us out. you saw the mueller report. one of the indictments alleged that the russians were attempting to hack into state and local systems eared and they
got into one state and got roughly half a million names. this is really serious stuff. they did it before. they continue to do it. we have built a robust infrastructure and i will never look anyone in the eye and say we are bulletproof. because we know that it is an arms race. we are far better off than we have been when i got there. we are continuing to fortify. we are continuing to work with partners. unfortunately, one of them is not the federal government. and that is tragic for our democracy. because again, this is not right versus left. this is right versus wrong. it is wrong for foreign governments to come in and interfere. and it is wrong for president's like this president to solicit that assistance. that is exactly what he is doing. what he is doing vis-a-vis the vice president, vice president biden, was just flat out wrong. it is flat out undemocratic. it is florida something that should be stopped -- it is
something that should be stopped. unfortunately republicans have a sock in her mouth. has the dnc reached out to dhs. tom: i have great respect for the career people. and we have gotten help from the career people there. but the problem is not the career people. the problem is above their pay grade. the people in the senior leadership. it is very difficult to set and have a conversation about cybersecurity and invite people and, when they have a boss who is actively soliciting aid to undermine his perceived opponents. i would be committing political malpractice to invite that in. past,le we have in the and we try to continue to work with some of the career people, they are compromised. not through their own doing, but because the people above their to grade are seeking
basically facilitate what happened in 26 teen again. that is just not who we are as a nation -- what happened in 2016 again. that is not who we are as a nation. this hold to paco and ukraine is part of a troubling pattern for this president. his northstar is himself. the north star of our president should be the best interests of the american people. tom perez, the chair of the democratic national committee. thank you for joining us. with we continue andeline ella many -- alex. to do todnc is trying prevent a future hack. alex: they have been turned out
by the dust turned down by the federal government and not getting very much assistance at all. the chairman believes they are going to be under threat again in 2020. host: at his point about resistance of senior officials in the troppo administration. what is your reaction? it is not totally surprising but it is surprising given that the dnc does face these threats going on 2020. you can definitely pick up on frustration from that chairman. jaqueline: when he told us he had approached kiersten nelson the former secretary of homeland security prior to the campaign and she quite frank he was not a helpful, that was surprising. but he did add that career officials have been helpful. at the end of the day he said it would be plugged malpractice for him to invite these people in, during an election cycle when there is such great distrust and
such a politicization of dhs at the moment. -- yourd your question perspective on the former vice president joe biden. we did hear them calling for the impeachment of donald trump. has a campaign been forceful enough and quick enough? perez waschairman reticent to criticize the biting campaign. said -- criticize the biden campaign. he said they made a forceful statement. that was only yesterday when they really came out hard and as millie called for -- they came out in favor of the impeachment and create. what has really come out these past few weeks is that not all indymedia, but the biting campaign and i think democratic candidates in general, are equipped for these massive amounts of disinformation that are playing out in the right wing media ecosystem that are trickling into the mainstream.
we are seeing it on republican senator's repeating these talking points on top sunday shows. and i think is going to require urgent action more so than waiting two or three weeks to come out with a sober statement. host: on the issue of money in politics he shot back on the need of where the dnc is versus the rnc paired what a use hearing among democratic operatives in terms of fundraising. alex: it is surprising in the sense that there is a lot of acknowledgment in in democratic circles that the dnc and democrat party is getting lapped many times over in terms of fundraising ahead of 2020. because he wasm situation republicans are raising tons of money, organizing a lot and have this massive head start in 2020. the democrats when they finally do get a nominee, where they going to be, in terms of getting ready for 2020. so there is concern in the party about that. and about where things stand. host: finally, what are you
looking for next week in the debate? want to say quickly, the chairman was obviously not giving us a direct answer about whether or not the dnc was going to accept corporate pack money -- corporate pac money on the topic of fundraising. thisel knee-deep into presidential cycle but it is still early. i think voters are still getting to know each other. it does seem like impeachment is going to be the latest and newest topic we have not heard all of the candidates repeatedly asked about on such a big stage. so that is what i thing me and the rest of the country and every other reporter has their eyes on now. host: we will look for your reporting at "washington post.com in the newspaper and a political.com -- plato.com. litico.com thanks for being with us. announcer: saturday, president
trump livers remarks at the 14th annual values voters summit in washington, d.c., live at 6 p.m. d eastern on c-span. listen live on the free c-span radio app. the house will be in order. been0 years c-span has providing america unfiltered coverage of congress come of the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country. so you can make up your own mind . pray to buy cable in 1979, c-span -- created by cable in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. this week on the communicators, discussion of the recent d.c. court of appeals decision on internet regulation, also note as net